Why Does Diabetes Cause Blindness?

Why Does Diabetes Cause Blindness
Diabetic Retinopathy – This common eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults. Diabetic retinopathy is caused when high blood sugar damages blood vessels in the retina (a light-sensitive layer of cells in the back of the eye).

Damaged blood vessels can swell and leak, causing blurry vision or stopping blood flow. Sometimes new blood vessels grow, but they aren’t normal and can cause further vision problems. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. Anyone with,, or (diabetes while pregnant) can develop diabetic retinopathy.

The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop it. These factors can also increase your risk:

, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels that are too high. Smoking. Race/ethnicity: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives are at higher risk.

If you have diabetic retinopathy, low-vision aids such as magnifying glasses and special lenses can help. Ask your eye doctor to refer you to a, Diabetic retinopathy has 2 main stages: Early stage (nonproliferative): Blood vessel walls in the retina weaken and bulge, forming tiny pouches (you won’t be able to detect them, but your eye doctor can).

These pouches can leak blood and other fluid, which can cause a part of the retina called the macula to swell (macular edema) and distort your vision. Macular edema is the most common cause of blindness in people with diabetic retinopathy. About half of people with diabetic retinopathy will develop macular edema.

Advanced stage (proliferative): In this stage, the retina begins to grow new blood vessels. These new vessels are fragile and often bleed into the vitreous (the clear gel between the lens and retina). With minor bleeding, you may see a few dark spots that float in your vision.

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Blurry vision Spots or dark shapes in your vision (floaters) Trouble seeing colors Dark or empty areas in your vision Vision loss

When do diabetics go blind?

You can’t see it—until it’s too late. Diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of diabetic eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20–74. It occurs when diabetes damages blood vessels in the retina.

Is blindness from diabetes reversible?

Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Reversed? – Damage caused by diabetic retinopathy is typically permanent. This condition isn’t fully reversible, but some treatments may help bring some of your vision back. While treatments aren’t likely to return your vision, your eye doctor can help prevent your vision from worsening,

How fast do diabetics go blind?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. However, it usually takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten your sight. To minimise the risk of this happening, people with diabetes should:

ensure they control their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterolattend diabetic eye screening appointments – annual screening is offered to all people with diabetes aged 12 and over to pick up and treat any problems early on

Is 90% of blindness caused by diabetes preventable?

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy? – Diabetic retinopathy is caused by the effects of diabetes on blood vessels in the retina, the layer of tissue lining the back wall of the eye that sends signals to the brain in response to light and allows us to see. People with uncontrolled diabetes have excess sugar in the bloodstream, which causes damage to blood vessels throughout the body.

  1. In the retina, this excess blood sugar can cause blockages that stop blood flow or produce leaks of fluid and blood.
  2. This can result in cloudy or blurred vision that can lead to blindness.
  3. If you have diabetes, you are potentially at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, which is why a yearly comprehensive eye exam is so important, Dr.
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Garg says. “With timely screening and intervention, 90 percent of vision loss from diabetes can be prevented,” Dr. Garg says. “Therefore, guidelines have been established that recommend all patients with diabetes should receive at least an annual retinal exam.”

How long until diabetes causes retinopathy?

Diabetic Retinopathy | Associated Retina Consultants | Phoenix Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes which affects the small blood vessels in the lining at the back of the eye. This lining is called the retina. A healthy retina is necessary for good eyesight.

Diabetic retinopathy has 4 stages; they are mild, moderate, severe non-proliferative retinopathy and proliferative retinopathy. Mild Non-Proliferative Retinopathy – In the earliest stage of retinopathy, micro-aneurysms (small balloon-like swelling) occur in the retina’s tiny blood vessels. Moderate Non-Proliferative Retinopathy – At this stage, some of the retina’s blood vessels become blocked.

Severe Non-Proliferative Retinopathy – As the disease progresses further, many more of the blood vessels become blocked, depriving the retina of its necessary blood supply. Due to this short supply of blood, the retina sends signals to grow new blood vessels for nourishment.

  • Proliferative Retinopathy – In the advanced stage, the retina signals trigger the growth of new blood vessels; these are abnormal and fragile.
  • They grow along the surface of the clear, vitreous gel that fills the inside of the eye.
  • As these new retinal blood vessels develop and grow abnormally, their fragile walls may leak blood and cause severe vision loss or blindness.

If you have diabetes, you should be aware of the potential of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is estimated that 40 to 45% of patients diagnosed with diabetes also have some stage of diabetic retinopathy. Since there are no well-known symptoms for retinopathy, it is advisable for diabetic patients to maintain regular vision exams.

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